Sunday, November 28, 2004
Iran playing the IAEA like a fiddle
Iran Vows Not to Give Up Centrifuge Demand:
Iran toughened its position over its nuclear program Sunday, vowing to maintain its demand to exempt 20 centrifuges it says it wants for research despite international efforts to save a deal committing Tehran to freeze uranium enrichment and all related activities.
Asefi said Iran won't give up on its position on the centrifuges, even if time was running out for a final agreement.
"We are negotiating with Europeans to specify the way we are going to use the 20 centrifuges. ... What is important is the legitimate right of our country, and we won't give (that) up," he said.
As the board awaited a formal Iranian response, France, Germany and Britain toned down language in a proposed Security Council resolution in an attempt to entice Tehran to sign on to full suspension. The confidential draft, made available to The Associated Press, weakened language on how any freeze would be monitored by the agency. It was said by Western diplomats to be unsatisfactory to the United States.
"We are not worried about referral to the U.N. Security Council," Asefi said. "But we prefer that negotiations be continued within the framework of the IAEA because otherwise the capabilities of the agency and Europe will be in doubt."